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Anti-talk ULFA emerging as major force: Governor
Kalyan Barooah
 NEW DELHI, Feb 12 – Red-flagging increasing activities of the Maoists in Assam, Governor JB Patnaik has said that the anti-talk faction of ULFA led by Paresh Baruah, which is fast emerging as a force to reckon with in Assam, has planned to hold a crucial meeting to firm up its future strategy.

The ULFA (anti-talk faction) headed by Paresh Baruah, self-styled commander-in-chief, has continued to carry forward its struggle for sovereignty. The ULFA anti-talk group is today considered to be a militant force to reckon with, said Patnaik.

The Governor, who was addressing the two-day Conference of Governors convened by President Pranab Mukherjee, said that ULFA anti-talk group is determined to regroup, reorganize and reinvigorate the outfit for reviving its lost ground with a view to boosting the morale of its cadres.

“A recent input suggests that the outfit has planned to hold a meeting at Arunachal-Myanmar border near Changlang in December-January, 2012-13 apparently to strategise its future course of action. Paresh Baruah has restructured the outfit by forming an ad hoc committee of 16 members with one Abhijit Barman as acting chairman,” the Governor mentioned.

During the last year, the security forces apprehended as many as 357 ULFA cadres and killed 16 of them in encounters and simultaneously a good number of arms and ammunition including explosives have been recovered. Paresh Baruah is still operating from Myanmar-China border in Yunan province and has eluded all efforts of the Indian intelligence agencies and security forces to nab him.

Claiming that Assam today is a comparatively peaceful State and is fast returning to normalcy after reeling under militant activities for about three decades, the Governor attributed it to signing of peace accords, ceasefire pacts and surrender of militants. “Let me begin with the violence profile of militancy in Assam. Currently, majority of the militant groups of Assam including the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) pro-talk faction headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa have resolved to come overground to solve their problems through talks,” Patnaik said.

Recalling that in the last Conference of Governors, he had red-flagged the problem of Maoist activities in the State, Patnaik said Left-wing extremists were active particularly in the remote areas of Dhemaji and Tinsukia districts bordering Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Left-wing extremism has now made inroads into the State of Assam in a systematic manner under the cover of social frontal organizations championing the cause of the poor and downtrodden. Their organizational ground work includes a detailed plan to impart training on arms handling, manufacturing of country-made weapons and arrangement of indoctrination classes for the newly recruited cadres.

CPI (Maoist) in Assam is growing under the shadow of the umbrella organizations such as Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Assam Students and Youth Organisation (ASYO), Chah Janagosthi Suraksha Samity (CJSS) and Big Dam Resistance Forum (BDRF). Assam has already been included in Eastern Regional Bureau of the party. Their cadres are being trained in Jharkhand and Manipur since 2006. The CPI (Maoist) has formed three regional leading committees, one each in Upper Assam, Middle Assam and Lower Assam. Among these committees, the Upper Assam Committee has been very active in the districts of Dhemaji and Tinsukia. The Maoists are also trying to establish contact with KRA of Manipur for facilitating arms transshipment, the Governor reported.

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